At the base of Stewart
Mountain in the north central region of the watershed, the City of
Bellingham has assembled five property purchases totaling over 165
acres. This protected group, known as the Three Creeks Preserve, is a
heavily forested area with steep slopes and numerous drainage ravines.
The Preserve, which is bordered on the south by the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission lines, is also split by the upper Sheridan Trail Road, a private easement road, and an old logging road. In the interest of mitigating the impacts of these and other man-made influences, the City has blocked access to the old logging road, removed three of its failing culverts and has posted "No Hunting" signs and boundary markers as appropriate.
This site is typical of a well developed second-growth forest, with an extensive tree canopy, well supported understory of ferns and mosses, and thick ground cover. Because the natural conditions at the Preserve retain and release naturally filtered water it is essential that the land in this steep and sensitive area be protected. The Preserve also functions as a shelter for wildlife and a place for the public to passively enjoy the pristine countryside. Through continued careful monitoring and management, the Three Creeks Preserve is destined to remain a valued element of watershed protection.